EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
DON BOXLEY , CEO AND CO-FOUNDER , DH2I
It appears to be an easy and affordable way to improve the employee experience ( EX ) and consequently take another important step towards retaining happy , committed employees .
The pandemic taught us many important lessons , not least of which is that for a large percentage of the world ’ s labour force , non-traditional work arrangements can work quite successfully . We initially saw this when so many were sent , virtually overnight , to work from home ( WFH ). While WFH introduced numerous challenges , it also provided many with a level of flexibility they had never before enjoyed in their careers – especially in terms of work / life balance .
During this time , we saw non-traditional work weeks truly take hold where progressive , forward-thinking employers recognised that productivity and successful outcomes were not tied to the number of hours worked or when those hours were worked , but rather the quality of the hours worked . And that quality was closely tied to the employee experience ( EX ). The Society for Human Resource Management ( SHRM ) defines EX as relating to ‘ the level of an employee ’ s commitment and connection to an organisation . High levels of engagement promote retention of talent , foster customer loyalty and improve organisational performance and stakeholder value ’.
And according to Jacob Morgan , Author of The Employee Experience Advantage , ‘ In a world where money is no longer the primary motivating factor for employees , focusing on the employee experience is the most promising competitive advantage that organisations can create ’. This has certainly been borne out in what is now known as ‘ The Great Resignation ’ phenomenon , where employees are resigning in record numbers , even when they have yet to find alternate employment .
In addition to the four-day work week , I also see hybrid and full WFH models gaining a foothold . While the benefits for employees and employers are extensive , it is of course important to keep in mind that there are challenges that must be overcome as well . For instance , data security likely tops the list for most organisations . Over the past couple of years , many have learned the hard way that technologies like Virtual Private Networks ( VPNs ) are not cut out to support a WFH scenario . Instead , many are finding success with software-defined perimeters ( SDP ) which overcome the inherent vulnerabilities of VPNs and ensure fast , controlled and secure network and data access .
The bottom line is this , while each organisation must evaluate their own business model and whether a four-day ( or other non-traditional ) work week can be successfully applied , it appears to be an easy and affordable way to improve the employee experience ( EX ) and consequently take another important step towards retaining happy , committed employees that are dedicated to your company ’ s success .
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